Friday, July 28, 2017

Reflecting on a Song That Was Once Very Important to Me: "In the End" -- and goodbye, Chester Bennington

I don't know how many other people are like this, but I have songs that are associated with key moments of my life. The more intense the feelings, be they love, hate, joy or anger, the more significant the song.

I was saddened to learn of the suicide of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington during my recent trip to Las Vegas. Bennington sang on Linkin Park's monster hit "In the End," a song with bitterness that resonated with me at my workplace when I was extremely upset about not getting an internal top-level administrative job that I had applied for when, in my estimation, I was clearly the best candidate. Worse yet, two members of the "juiced" search committee were people from my own department. And by juiced, I mean that the people were carefully selected so that a preordained ending would occur. Note that the bitterness has not completely gone away!

Anyway, the director of my department, one of those two members who I am sure voted for the other candidate, invited me into her office to talk with me and settle me down a bit, or perhaps assuage some of her guilt, or maybe even help to heal my hurt. Well, my feeling were too raw, and I certainly was going to have none of it.

I began a profanity-laced diatribe, dropping more F-bombs than I can remember, and quoting some of 'In The End":

It starts with one thing
I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try

I kept everything inside
And even though I tried, it all fell apart
What it meant to me
Will eventually be a memory of a time when
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

And suddenly the guy who had always been pretty enthusiastic at work became Mr. Negative. I have rarely had things in my life that I wished I could redo, but this was one of them. I stayed in a work funk for a couple of years until I was granted a sabbatical, giving me some time away from the daily grind for almost six months. I returned to work with a renewed spirit and a new attitude, and surprisingly, even ended up with an unexpected administrative opportunity, which I relinquished this past May after a five-year run.

With retirement now looming somewhere in the next 21-33 months and with my work responsibilities now excluding heavy managerial duties, I revised my Linked In profile, causing me to reflect back on my professional career. There were definitely some down times, but I guess one doesn't work an entire professional career without having those bad periods. As mentioned, I wish that I had handled things differently in this particular case, but hey -- we are what we are.

For your viewing and audio pleasure, a live version of "In the End":
As Chester says at the end of this video, "God bless you all." And Chester, may you rest in peace.


Anonymous KenP said...

Damn. The good guys don't always win.

I certainly have parallels and I think most do.

Enjoy what you have -- a great family. That what means something in life's traverse.

9:39 AM  

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